Barque

http://barque.ca

Recommended to me by a colleague, who has never been, we attempted to wait the 30min line last time but decided it wasn't our day.

This time, cheri and I returned since we were going west anyways and didn't want to be stuck in Friday-before-long-weeked traffic.

APPEARANCE

gold, heavy, classy

On a corner of the clean, renovated Roncesvalles and a tiny street. The bold black exterior is hard to miss, with the black yawning and fence at the side patio.

SWIRL

floral, zesty acidity

Trying to make a reservation before we came seemed to be a lost race, but I read that 1/3 of the restaurant is committed to walk-ins. We made it early, and we were given the choice of a patio table and a table by the chef. It is very chique inside. We just couldn't stand the thought of missing out on the sunny weather.

NOSE

smoky, warm, complex

Beige chairs with metal frames, wooden tables, fork, knife, brush?

The waitress quickly came with the water and two small metal cups. Then a small metal bin of popcorn arrived. Cheri looked at me and said, "They just got you! I think this would be your best review." Yes, the popcorn did indeed make it for me, but I will be objective. Oh and I have to add, the popcorn came with their special spice mix for veggie burgers. I picked out cumin, ketchup, cinnamon, bbq and a loooot more. Our waitress said it's a secret mix, so I didn't bother her.

We finally picked out our drinks. I asked for an amber (not too heavy or light one) an amber one the waitress recommended - St. Ambroise Pale Ale and cheri got a Griffon Extra Blond (as she said, it is very light and hardly like beer). Weren't quite as we expected, but we were glad to have a cool beer by this black side awning - got us a bit steamy at sunset.

After some reading and confusion we decided to go with their Sampler for 2. We picked the recommended briskets, baby back ribs and lamb sausage. Our 3 sides were barque caesar, cuban corn and their spinach spartzie.

PALETTE

medium-full bodied, oaky, a bit spicy,

smooth (needs another year

)

We really felt the relaxed high park vibe on that warm patio. Our plates made their way relatively quickly. It all came with a mouth watering smell. First the salad, then the meats and corn and finally the spartzie. The salad was relatively good - bacon was a beauty. The beef briskets were definitely recommend to us for a reason - smoked, lean, just the right thickness - beauty. Next I bit into the ribs, which at first seemed ok but as I sunk my teeth deeper I met my pink, stiff disappointment. My memory of a well-smoked rib was that it was so tender, it fell off the bone almost by itself. But with this rack, I had to put up a fight stripping it off. The spinach spartzie made its way in a hot black skillet, with a small sheet of melter parmesan. It really made my experience - the green egg noodles came with diced mushrooms, tomatoes, in melted parmesan. (a bit tangy sauce to them too) I next tried the corn - a real mess to eat, but quite yummy - fresh and sweet with a spicy/zesty rub. And last the sausages - didn't have that strong lamb smell at all, but still a disappointment to me. They remind me of frozen ones I used to eat when I was younger - with an opinionated herb inside, I can't get over nor enjoy.

The finger feast began, in case there was not enough variety, the two barbecue sauces were waiting with our brushes in them. It was fun.

FINISH

unique, evolving, intriguing

From the beginning, the smoked ratatouille and brisket burnt bites in the menu also caught my eyes.

A few tables around us had their fries. They seemed to be a hit. There was also white a few desserts, perhaps worth trying out.

On our way out, we check out their washrooms - odd smirf papers on the rough, wooden slide doors with leather nailed handles - very neat.

Overall, a meaty developing Chardonnay

Barque Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

Le Canard Mort

Les Halles (Park Avenue)

Les Halles (Park Avenue)